Better Budgeting: Gift Card Budgeting

Gift Card Budgeting

Money Saving Tip of the Month (featured column)
submitted by Jennifer Smith

I love your site and have gotten great money saving ideas from it, thank you! I have a tip for you that has made a huge difference for me.

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I have a husband and two boys. I used to spend $600-$800 a month at the grocery store, and that was with coupons, club card, shopping sales, etc. I could not seem to get the cost down!

When I tried the envelope idea I ran out of money or used it for other things. Then I had an idea. I bought a $200 'gift card' to my grocery store.

I made a list of all the food in the house and moved from there. Knowing that the gift card amount was very finite, I did not feel the same urge to spend on things like candy, magazines, desserts, expensive mixes, etc. I bought meat, veggies, fruits, and breads.

We still had enough food for 3 good meals a day and there was WAY less junk food in the house. I went from spending $600 a month to less than $400. I use coupons and shop sales still as well.

I did the same thing with Walmart and Target. Our spending on all stores combined went from $1200 a month to less than $500!

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